Summary: God has blessed his people with gifts. This sermon explores three truths we need to know about our giving God.
Let me tell you a story that will put today’s message into a picture to which you can relate.
Many years ago when my son Jon was very young, I took him to McDonald’s and bought him some French fries. While sitting together enjoying each other’s company, I idly reached over to take some of Jon’s French fries. Much to my surprise, Jon pulled the fries back and said, “No! These are mine!”
I was startled! And then I began to reflect on what just took place. I thought three things, which I want to share with you.
“First,” I thought, “Jon doesn’t have any idea that I am the source for those French fries. I went up to the counter, I pulled out the money, and I paid for the fries. The reason he has those fries is because of me!
“Second, not only am I the source, but Jon doesn’t realize that I have the power—being his Dad—that if I want to, I can reach over and take those fries from him. Or, I could go to the counter and buy $50.00 worth of French fries and tell them to bury Jon in French fries! Jon doesn’t realize that I can either take away what he has or I can bury him under a mountain of fries.
“And third, Jon doesn’t understand that I really don’t need his French fries. If I want to, I can buy some fries for myself.”
As I reflected on that little incident with Jon, I realized that I really didn’t want Jon’s French fries as much as I wanted Jon’s willingness to share them with me.
Now don’t you relate to that story? God takes us to McDonald’s, as it were. He’s blessed us. He’s given us “French fries.” They come in different forms, and some have more than others, but he’s given all of us “French fries.” And God sits down, as it were, to fellowship with us, and as he reaches over for some “French fries,” we pull back and say, “No! These are mine!”
And God says to himself, “Don’t they understand that I’m the source of everything they’ve got? Don’t they understand that I have the power to take away what they have—or give them more? Don’t they understand that I really don’t need what they have?”
You see, God wants you to give and to share, not because he is hurting and needy, but because he has modeled giving in himself and he wants it passed on by his children.
The first verse you most likely ever memorized is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave. . . .” He gave! Throughout the Bible we find that God is always giving.
God is very interested in your response today. God wants to see how you respond when he reaches over for some fries, or tells you to pass some over to your neighbor.
I am in the middle of a series of messages on Stewardship, which I am calling The ABCs of Stewardship. The material for this series of sermons comes from Dr. John Maxwell. Here are the four messages in The ABCs of Stewardship:
1. Attitude: The Response of a Successful Steward
2. Blessings: The Resources of a Successful Steward
3. Consecration: The Requirement of a Successful Steward
4. Donation: The Reward of a Successful Steward
Last week we looked at the first message on “Attitude: The Response of a Successful Steward.” Today I want to talk about “Blessings: The Resources of a Successful Steward.”
1 Chronicles 29:10-16 is a tremendous passage of Scripture that I want us to study today. The first 9 verses of chapter 29 describe an incredible offering taken for the building of the Temple. It is to be built under the leadership of Solomon. Verses 10-16 are perhaps the most powerful verses in all Scripture teaching us that God is the source of everything that we have. King David offers up a wonderful prayer of praise to God in thanks for the offering.
Please pay attention as I read 1 Chronicles 29:10-16:
10 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-16)